Decades ago, Silicon Valley tech companies created marketplaces for everything you can imagine, except for a marketplace that provides essential goods for the poor and suffering.
In 2006, Dr. Paul Polak, founder of iDE, SunWater, Spring Health, and D-Rev launched a movement to develop products and ideas to benefit the majority of the people on earth who are poor. A revolution began and entrepreneurs, engineers, students, professors, and architects from around the globe are devising cost-effective ways to improve access to water, food, energy, education, healthcare, and affordable transportation.
There are now at least 15 humanitarian engineering programs: from Stanford to MIT D-lab, Colorado School of Mines and Dartmouth. Thousands of new, cost effective and affordable technologies have been invented. However, due to market challenges and lack of sales channels, few have found their way into the hands of those that need them most.
A marketplace for the poor
The world’s marketplaces – from Amazon to Alibaba to Ebay and IndiaMart sell just about everything one could want – except the life-saving, life-enhancing products that the 70% of the world that lives on $10/day actually needs.
The Level Market wants to make buying a water filter to save the life of a child in Africa, as easy as buying a book on Amazon. Enter TLM — a marketplace not only for relief and development agencies, but a platform that will level the playing field and provide access and CHOICE for the needs of the 70%.
This “base of pyramid” purchasing power is substantial – $5 trillion by World Resource Institute estimates. In order to meet that demand, brick and mortar retailers, traveling sales agents, mobile entrepreneurs and micro-consigners need to know what innovations exist and are ready for the market. They need a way to find, review, bid and purchase these products.
What’s more, the 70% who live in poverty are also disproportionately affected by a crisis. The humanitarian and development space has never been more relevant and yet there is a real struggle when it comes to finding the right products and deploying goods to those in need.
This is why 100% of our efforts are focused on caling the world’s first marketplace to meet the needs of the 70%.
Thanks, Dr. Polak.
The man who wrote Out of Poverty and started a product revolution, Paul Polak.